2011’s “Type I” Highlight Reel

8.6.11 - The Gorge (Graham.Lucas)

Phish’s current creativity is far-reaching, seeping into all parts of their show and certainly extends beyond their exploratory jamming highlighted on Friday. I was going to wait until this coming Friday to highlight the band’s best contained, or “type I,” jamming of  2011, but instead, let’s get right to it! This following is how these picks are organized. First, I listed—in no particular order—the band’s strongest “type I” vehicles of the year, and highlighted my favorite version of each. I also noted one or two other standout versions as well. The tracks are simply ordered for playlist listenability. Then, I have a series of “One Timers,” or songs that only blew up once during the year—but that version deserves mention. Enjoy the many tunes, our the continuing look back at the year that was 2011.


Bathtub Gin” 5/28 I, Bethel, NY

“Bathtub Gin,” though never making into the second set last year, still produced a couple of standout versions and was always reliable for a solid piece of improvisation. My favorite version of the year came in Phish’s second show in Bethel, New York. Closing a spectacular first set, this jam moves into a serious funk jam, eventually blending with “Manteca” and back into “Gin.” One can hear the electricity in the air during this version, as Phish began their conquest of 2011. Honorable Mention: 9/4 Denver—a guitar clinic in groove.



Reba > David Bowie” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY

The Gorge 2011 (G. Lucas)

Phish played some standout versions of both of these classic jams throughout 2011, and wound up pairing them to finish the first set of Super Ball on July 3rd. Each of these Super Ball versions represent my pick for the top “Reba” and “Bowie” of the year. You can hear the fluidity of the band as they were in top form for their mid-summer festival, specifically, this final show of the weekend. Page and Trey flirt with “Dave’s Energy Guide” as the “Reba” builds into an out-of-character section. The two songs are joined by an ambient, storage-laced bridge. Honorable Mention: “Reba” 6/17 Charlotte—a second set version where the band swims in IT, “Bowie” 6/3 Clarkston, MI—the conclusion of “Disease -> Fluffhead > Bowie”



Sand” 6/19 II, Portsmouth, VA

“Sand” absolutely blew up in 2011. Every single version, less 12/30’s, was a legitimate highlight of its show. Featuring full-band interplay in every version since its reinvention last Fall, this became one of the anthems of summer. My favorite version came in June’s final show at Portsmouth, Virginia. Getting into a retro-futuristic stop/start funk jam, as well as a “Sand Reprise,” the band’s dynamic, rhythmically-focused imporv truly popped off in this summer highlight. A “Sand” and then some.  Honorable Mention: 8/6 The Gorge—Trey infuses a slight whale call into the groove while the band crushes within the venue’s open air anvirons; segues back into “Tweezer!”



Run Like an Antelope” 8/6  II, The Gorge, WA

6.5.11 — Cincy (M.Stein)

Though “Antelope” has remained fairly standard throughout 2011, a couple versions expanded beyond the norm. In the Gorge’s version of 8/6, not only did Trey provide a summation of the second set within the song’s intro, the band locked into a slammin,’ yet laid back, jam that oozed with both patience and ferocity. Passing through a “Golden Age” segment of the jam, teasing the final song from the set, Phish came together in this “Antelope” in far more engaging fashion that any other time last year. Honorable Mention: 6/4 Blossom—a quality first set closing rendition.



Wolfman’s Brother” 8/15 I, Chicago, IL

It seems like “Wolfman’s” has permanently settled into a role as a first set song in 3.0. After taking some of its jams out in 2010, Phish brought the song, largely, back to form but for one or two occasions when it segued into another. My selection for the most engaging “Wolfman’s” of the year is an easy one—UIC’s version from 8/15. After moving through a legitimate funk session, Phish moved into a second jam where Trey initially laid way back in the mix filling in the space of his band mates groove. Gradually he integrated his lines into the music, finishing in victorious fashion. Honorable Mention: 7/2 Super Ball—a fury of funk grooves to get the festival going during its first set.



Stash” 7/2 II, Watkins Glen, NY

Though “Stash” more often than not provides the first jam of its show, and hasn’t made it into the second set since the band’s return—the noted shows was a three-setter, and set II was essentially set I—Super Ball’s version carried a bit more rhythmic complexity than usual. This “Stash” represented the point where the band began to build momentum for the rest of the show and their late-night Storage Shed extravaganza. A quality moment that is often forgotten about from the last year’s festival. Honorable Mention: 6/10 Camden—a classic, modal take on the jam with quality tension and release.



Tweezer” 6/5 II, Cincinnati, OH

Though I highlighted the phenomenal Denver “Tweezer” on Friday, most often, the song was a vehicle for “type I” jamming rather than open exploration. In this Cincy version, the band sits into a vicious funk exchange for much of the piece before Trey peaks it with foreshadowing “Crosseyed” licks. Far dirtier and groovier than Denver’s melodic mind-meld, this is the other side of “Tweezer. Honorable Mention: 7/2 Super Ball—a crunchy, mechanical, larger-than-life version dripped from the speaker towers before ending abruptly for “Julius.”



Harry Hood > Roggae” 9/4, II, Denver, CO

9.2.11 - Denver (G.Lucas / webcast)

“Harry Hood” continued to offer energetic and passionate playing throughout 2011, often finishing sets with cathartic exclamation points. But each of my two picks are versions that were more centrally located in their second sets. Denver’s 9/4 version melds the jam’s modern staccato soundscapes with the airtight, thematic playing of lore to create a new-school masterpiece. A truly triumphant piece of music, no version approached the Denver “Hood” this year. And the “Roggae” that followed harnessed the same vibe as the “Hood” jam, standing out in its own right. Honorable Mention: 5/28 Bethel—more exploratory than given credit for, 8/15 UIC—ended the night on a huge high.



Slave to the Traffic Light” 6/19 II, Portsmouth, VA

Several times this era, Phish has centered “Slave” in the second set rather than leaving it as the shows denouement. And my pick for “Slave” of 2011 comes from Portsmouth, Virginia, in this exact context. Capping an opening run of “Crosseyed > Walls,” this version was incredibly patient and reached divine levels of interplay. Complete and utter bliss, this rendition is what this song is all about. Honorable Mention: 8/9 Lake Tahoe—another mid-set monster, 9/2 Denver—the conclusion of the “S” show, Trey holds a sacred note for quite some time.



Chalk Dust Torture” 8/16 I, Chicago, IL

8.15.11 - UIC (M.Stein)

The usually straightforward Phish anthem veered into more than a couple memorable jams in 2011, and my pick for the “Chalk Dust” of the year comes from the first set of UIC’s second show. Roaring to life like few versions have this era, Phish attacked this jam with uncharacteristic aggression, reaching intricate points that were more reminiscent of “David Bowie.” Sparking the show as the third song, this one provided a golden memory. Honorable Mention: 6/3 I Clarkston—a laid-back and patient take on the song to close the first set, 8/9 Lake Tahoe—intense version laced with teases and breaks down beautifully into “Slave,” 12/29 MSG—a fantastic transition into “Hyrogen” amidst a “Mike’s Groove.”



Backwards Down the Number Line” 5/28 II, Bethel, NY

On a night when the band could do no wrong, they shredded this second set “Number Line” with atypically active interplay for this song. Focused on a whole band conversation rather than Trey’s noodling, this jam gets intricate and quite engaging, easily qualifying as version of the year. Honorable Mention: 6/19 Portsmouth—Trey gets into some Allman—esque soloing while the rest of the band is playing gently accompanying him.



Crosseyed and Painless” 7/1 II, Watkins Glen, NY

7.1.11 (G.Lucas)

Though it pains me that Phish has decided to use this once prolific jam vehicle as a means to high-speed and aggressive rock playing, they, nonetheless, routinely shred the composed jam to bits. Two versions standout above all others in my memory from 2011, and its no surprise that each contained a little bit extra. My highlight version comes from Super Ball, as an ambient jam led into the song and out of it before a Trey emerged with a cool transition into “Chalk Dust.” Honorable Mention: 8/17, UIC—featured a tripped out interlude between “Crosseyed” and “No Quarter.”



Weekapaug Groove” 6/8 II, Darien, NY, and 12/29 II, NYC, NY

“Weekapaug” has consistently proven to be more interesting than “Mike’s” in this era, a trend which certainly held true last year. Two versions stand out to me from 2011, the plinko-laced rendition from Darien Lake and the more commanding percussive-funk of December 29th’s version. Since we are all familiar with the recent one, I’ll play Darien.”




2001” 6/8 II, Darien Center, NY


Light Up or Leave Me Alone” 6/14 I, Alph., GA


Destiny Unbound” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY


The Curtain With” 6.10 I, Camden, NJ



Limb by Limb” 8/16 I, Chicago, IL


Wilson” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY


Mound” 7/3 I, Super Ball


Scents and Subtle Sounds” 9/2 II, Denver, CO

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ph2011-09-02t21.mp3] Tags: , ,

794 Responses to “2011’s “Type I” Highlight Reel”

  1. sumodie Says:

    jtran, I read BM’s new tix policy to mean that if someone were willing to buy a ticket at the highest price tier, they would be entered into the lotto drawing for the cheapest price tier first, then the next price tier, etc., until either winning tix or getting denied across all tiers

    which to me only further proves that price tiering for BM tix is ridiculous

  2. tela'smuff Says:

    @AJ – clearly you have not been to Spearmint Rhino’s on shrooms. 😉

    Vegas = Horseplay

  3. Jahvolunteer Says:


    We’re you on Baker Beach? if so more power to you.

    The Burn has a few distinct eras, with the Baker BEach being the first and then the Playa from 1990-1996. After 1996 the wild west days of drive by shooting gallerys and open driving on the playa were banned so people wouldn’t be killed. It was an evolution.

    It is always changing and people always bitch how great it used to be.

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Spearmint Rhino…llfa

  5. angryjoggerz Says:

    I have no idea what you are talking about, but saying Vegas is horseplay is not really selling it to me 🙂

  6. stapes Says:

    I would like Vegas shows if for no other reason than cheap and short flights paired with an abundance of hotel options.

  7. Jahvolunteer Says:

    I love Vegas and Nevada. It is a great state. Strip clubs and coming sown of psychedelics is really fun.

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    fuck Vegas.

  9. sumodie Says:

    jazzfest yes. Burn no. Jazzfest still has the same spirit that it started with….the burn is a joke now. Baker Beach bitches!!!

    some things never change 😉

    “Are you going to Burning Man this year?”


  10. phlorida phan Says:

    Vegas is heaven!
    vegas on a budget = shitty!

    Anybody know of a good aud of trey tour 7-26-01
    thinking bout that almost 50min mr. completly with trey on keys!
    remember that being nuts

  11. albert walker Says:

    I like whores, blow, and gambling

    unfortunately I’m retired from all 3. no need for this kid in Vegas.

    but as I’ve told stories before Vegas 03 me and my girl had an epic “Fear and Loathing” style let’s rent a car, buy a bunch of crack, and hit the road to Vegas trip while trying to quit H cold turkey.

    one of the most destructive weekends of my life. last time I was there too.

    and for you kids. crack is not the best method of quitting H.

  12. tela'smuff Says:

    Leaving a Phish show to roam the casinos, getting free booze and playing $2 blackjack, after stopping off at a strip club, all while on shrooms etc. was an all-time experience. Very inspired by Fear & Loathing. Then, the next year in 2004, we made a fatal blunder and brought the wives, and Trey decided to rape my earholes.

    for real though, Vegas for 2-3 days is the most I can handle. i don’t like shows, the food is overrated, even for bad food. I don’t like gambling all that much, and it’s difficult to walk all over town.

    that being said, i’m down with a return to Vegas, although i’ll take Jazzfest in a heartbeat.

  13. Jahvolunteer Says:

    What I loved about seeing Phish in Vegas in 2003 and 2004 was the fact that once the show was over there was a whole crazy city to fuck around in and have strange experiences. I mean funny, laugh till you cry experiences.

    Unlike say Deer Creek, where a Phish run is the wildest thing that happens all year and the PO PO is all around, in Vegas no one cares, no one even notices. Phish who? It’s a blast.

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    Team Phish!

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    Jazzfest did not know what the fuck hit them. What a great fucking time. Still have polaroids from that trip.

  16. sumodie Says:

    It is always changing and people always bitch how great it used to be.

    Don’t you mean Phish? 😯

  17. alf Says:

    nice palmer, i might have to revisit both those jones beach shows

    here’s the hood from the next night http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6x7O0zIobs&feature=related

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    Thanks for the advice, AW

    but, seriously, glad to have you and K here to laugh about it now.

    hope you’re doing well, man.

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Did Phish in Vegas in ’98 and ’00. I think thats it for me.

    Let the youngsters enjoy it. Past my prime for that nonsense.

  20. joe Says:

    trey tour with the national dates drop yet? got to support that new album, right?

  21. albert walker Says:

    yeah SW. we’re good.

    K is working on a few big grants offered by the Gates Foundation.

    I’m jumping into 2012 trying to look for binary event biotech trades so I can actually get a fat bonus this year. trying to forget about last year.

    basically a stack some paper year hopefully. we shall see. so far so good.

  22. albert walker Says:

    chillin on 5 flavas of wax my homie sent me from this Harborside place out in Oakland

    so I got that goin for me also
    which is nice

    laterz kids
    keep it real
    Do the First Tube dance

  23. joe Says:

    got to represent the football for the playoffs, I think.

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Harborside is the place they feature on Weed Wars.

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    Good to hear, AW

    good luck at work

    say hi to that wax for me properly

    (still love being able to type wax on the board)

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